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Developmental Psychology General overview of Theories of Developmental Psychology.

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1 Developmental Psychology General overview of Theories of Developmental Psychology

2 Domains of Development 1. Physical development -changes in body size, proportions, appearance, brain development, perceptual and motor capacities, & physical health. 1. Physical development -changes in body size, proportions, appearance, brain development, perceptual and motor capacities, & physical health. 2. Cognitive development –thought processes, intellectual abilities (attention, memory, problem solving, imagination, creativity), & capacity to represent the world through language. 2. Cognitive development –thought processes, intellectual abilities (attention, memory, problem solving, imagination, creativity), & capacity to represent the world through language. 3. Emotional and Social development – emotional expression, feelings, interpersonal skills, self-understanding, & emotional regulation. 3. Emotional and Social development – emotional expression, feelings, interpersonal skills, self-understanding, & emotional regulation.

3 Periods of Development 1. The Prenatal Period (conception-to-birth) Rapid change occurs during which a one-celled organism is transformed into a human baby. 1. The Prenatal Period (conception-to-birth) Rapid change occurs during which a one-celled organism is transformed into a human baby. 2. Infancy and toddler hood (birth to 2 years) Rapid changes in physiology, perceptual & motor capacities, language acquisition, and emotional development. 2. Infancy and toddler hood (birth to 2 years) Rapid changes in physiology, perceptual & motor capacities, language acquisition, and emotional development. 3. Early childhood (2 to 6 yrs). Childs body grows, motor skills become more complex and refined, behavior is more self-controlled and sufficient. Child engages in imaginative play, obtains greater autonomy, develops fluent language and learns morals. 3. Early childhood (2 to 6 yrs). Childs body grows, motor skills become more complex and refined, behavior is more self-controlled and sufficient. Child engages in imaginative play, obtains greater autonomy, develops fluent language and learns morals.

4 Periods of Development contd. 1. Middle childhood (6 to 11 yrs). Children master reading, grammar, mathematics,and other academics. They become more independent, responsible, their thought processes become more logical, athletic ability improves, and sense of self becomes more advanced. 1. Middle childhood (6 to 11 yrs). Children master reading, grammar, mathematics,and other academics. They become more independent, responsible, their thought processes become more logical, athletic ability improves, and sense of self becomes more advanced. 2. Adolescence (11 to 20 yrs). Thought processes becomes more abstract, sexual maturity is reached, interest in preparation for college or work becomes salient. Emotion regulation changing. 2. Adolescence (11 to 20 yrs). Thought processes becomes more abstract, sexual maturity is reached, interest in preparation for college or work becomes salient. Emotion regulation changing.

5 Themes of Development A. Biological versus Environmental Influence A. Biological versus Environmental Influence Do humans develop based on biological factors (genetic factors, chemicals in brain) or environmental experiences (parental rearing, social factors)? Do humans develop based on biological factors (genetic factors, chemicals in brain) or environmental experiences (parental rearing, social factors)? Current view - both factors influence human development. Current view - both factors influence human development. How do both biological and environmental factors interact to produce developmental variations in different children? How do both biological and environmental factors interact to produce developmental variations in different children?

6 Themes of Development B. Active Versus Passive Child B. Active Versus Passive Child Are children passive recipients of environmental stimuli or active explorers in their surroundings? Are children passive recipients of environmental stimuli or active explorers in their surroundings? Children are active in shaping, controlling, and directing the course of their own development. Children are active in shaping, controlling, and directing the course of their own development. Parents and teachers do not simply mold children. Rather, children and adults have interactions that influence each other (systems theory). Parents and teachers do not simply mold children. Rather, children and adults have interactions that influence each other (systems theory).

7 Themes of Development C. Continuity Versus Discontinuity C. Continuity Versus Discontinuity Is development a continuous process or does it occur in discrete stages? Is development a continuous process or does it occur in discrete stages? Current view- is a middle-of-the-road position. Current view- is a middle-of-the-road position. Development is essentially continuous, but interspersed with periods of transition in which change may be sudden. Development is essentially continuous, but interspersed with periods of transition in which change may be sudden. Transitions - biological (crawling, walking), psychological (the development of emotions- smiling, temper tantrums, etc.) & social (peer relationships.) Transitions - biological (crawling, walking), psychological (the development of emotions- smiling, temper tantrums, etc.) & social (peer relationships.)

8 Themes of Development D. Situational Influences versus Individual Characteristics D. Situational Influences versus Individual Characteristics How much does the context of the situation influence what we learn about children? How much does the context of the situation influence what we learn about children? Do children respond similarly in different situations (with friends, around their parents, relatives, strangers, etc.)? Do children respond similarly in different situations (with friends, around their parents, relatives, strangers, etc.)? Most researchers look at role of personality and situational factors. Most researchers look at role of personality and situational factors.

9 Themes of Development E. Risk and Resilience E. Risk and Resilience How do we respond to the risks we encounter as we develop? How do we respond to the risks we encounter as we develop? Risks-- divorce, death of loved one, accidents, disease, poverty, etc. Risks-- divorce, death of loved one, accidents, disease, poverty, etc. Children differ with regard to how they cope with these risks. Some are severely impaired, others are quite resilient. Children differ with regard to how they cope with these risks. Some are severely impaired, others are quite resilient.

10 Factors influencing Resilience 3 factors buffer children from effects of risk & stress. 3 factors buffer children from effects of risk & stress. 1. Positive Individual Attributes – Children with easy dispositions, high self-esteem, and intelligence adapt more easily to stressors. Girls have the edge here. 1. Positive Individual Attributes – Children with easy dispositions, high self-esteem, and intelligence adapt more easily to stressors. Girls have the edge here. 2. Supportive Family Environment – presence of one caring supportive parent buffers adverse effects of poverty, divorce, & child abuse. (Good news for single parents!!!) 2. Supportive Family Environment – presence of one caring supportive parent buffers adverse effects of poverty, divorce, & child abuse. (Good news for single parents!!!) 3. Positive influence of agencies outside home (church, school, peers), improves resiliency. 3. Positive influence of agencies outside home (church, school, peers), improves resiliency.

11 Theories of Development The Psychodynamic View (Freud – ) The Psychodynamic View (Freud – ) Popular- 1930s & 1940s. Popular- 1930s & 1940s. Children move through a series of stages in which they must resolve unconscious conflicts between biological drives and societal expectations. Children move through a series of stages in which they must resolve unconscious conflicts between biological drives and societal expectations. The unsuccessful completion of one of these stages led to development of dysfunctional or abnormal behavior. The unsuccessful completion of one of these stages led to development of dysfunctional or abnormal behavior.

12 Structures of Mind 1. Id- present from birth this structure is unconscious and seeks to gratify our most basic urges: hunger, thirst, elimination of waste, and sex. (I want of our personality). 2. Ego- is primarily conscious, and tries to satisfy the demands of the id, without compromising the norms of society. The ego works according to the reality principle. 3. Super-ego: the last structure to develop, it is our moral center, it tells us what is right and wrong. 3. Super-ego: the last structure to develop, it is our moral center, it tells us what is right and wrong.

13 Psychosexual Stages of Development 1. Oral (0-1 year) –infants gains satisfaction from oral stimulation (sucking, licking). 1. Oral (0-1 year) –infants gains satisfaction from oral stimulation (sucking, licking). 2. Anal (second year of life)- Childs main source of libidinous pleasure comes from passing and retaining feces. 2. Anal (second year of life)- Childs main source of libidinous pleasure comes from passing and retaining feces. 3. Phallic (3 to 5)- childs main source of gratification results from stimulation of the genitals. 3. Phallic (3 to 5)- childs main source of gratification results from stimulation of the genitals. ** Child must overcome Oedipal and Electra complexes. ** Child must overcome Oedipal and Electra complexes. 4. Latency (6-12) - during this stage sexual impulses are dormant. 4. Latency (6-12) - during this stage sexual impulses are dormant. 5. Genital (young adulthood)- During this stage the child develops heterosexual interests. 5. Genital (young adulthood)- During this stage the child develops heterosexual interests.

14 Cons of Freuds Theory 1. Freud had no scientific data to support his theories. 1. Freud had no scientific data to support his theories. 2. Freuds theories (unconscious, libido, etc.) cannot be observed. 2. Freuds theories (unconscious, libido, etc.) cannot be observed. 3. Theory explains behavior (post-hoc) after the fact. 3. Theory explains behavior (post-hoc) after the fact. 4. Observations not representative of population. 4. Observations not representative of population. 5. Theory based on upper class female patients. The patients were wealthy Viennese women. 5. Theory based on upper class female patients. The patients were wealthy Viennese women.

15 Pros of Freuds Work 1. Focused on the influence of unconscious processes. 1. Focused on the influence of unconscious processes. Currently, we know that implicit memories and cognitions influencing behavior (Mere-exposure effect). Currently, we know that implicit memories and cognitions influencing behavior (Mere-exposure effect). 2. Stressed that events in childhood do influence our adult behavior. 2. Stressed that events in childhood do influence our adult behavior. 3. Defense mechanisms 3. Defense mechanisms

16 Learning Theory/Behaviorism Learning is a relatively permanent change brought about by knowledge and/or experience. Learning is a relatively permanent change brought about by knowledge and/or experience. Popular- 1940s-1960 Popular- 1940s-1960 Human development is influenced by environmental factors. Human development is influenced by environmental factors. Behaviorism - focuses on observable behaviors, rather than on consciousness.

17 Types of Learning Classical condition: reflexive learning by association Classical condition: reflexive learning by association Pavlovs study: Pavlovs study: Step 1: Meat Powder (UCS) Salivation (UCR) Step 1: Meat Powder (UCS) Salivation (UCR) Step 2: Bell (CS) Step 2: Bell (CS) Meat Powder (UCS)--Salivation (UCR) ---Meat Powder (UCS)--Salivation (UCR) (pair bell with meat) (pair bell with meat) Step 3: Bell (CS) Salivation (CR) Step 3: Bell (CS) Salivation (CR)

18 Watson & Rayner (1920) Conditioned emotional responses in an 11- month-old infant (Little Albert). Conditioned emotional responses in an 11- month-old infant (Little Albert). Used classical conditioning to get infant to fear white furry objects (rats, santas beard, fur coat, etc.). Used classical conditioning to get infant to fear white furry objects (rats, santas beard, fur coat, etc.). They did this by presenting a loud obnoxious noise (CS) whenever Albert showed an interest in the white furry rat. Soon, child came to fear white furry objects without presence of noise. They did this by presenting a loud obnoxious noise (CS) whenever Albert showed an interest in the white furry rat. Soon, child came to fear white furry objects without presence of noise.

19 Operant conditioning (B.F. Skinner) Operant conditioning – behavior may be learned or extinguished through use of reinforcers (rewards) or punishments. Operant conditioning – behavior may be learned or extinguished through use of reinforcers (rewards) or punishments. Positive Reinforcement Positive Reinforcement E.g., a good grade received after studying for an exam E.g., a good grade received after studying for an exam Negative Reinforcement Negative Reinforcement E.g., smoking behavior increases to reduce the aversive sensations associated with a nicotine fit. E.g., smoking behavior increases to reduce the aversive sensations associated with a nicotine fit.

20 Social Learning Theory Modeling (Albert Bandura) Modeling (Albert Bandura) We learn the consequences of given actions by observing what happens to others. We learn the consequences of given actions by observing what happens to others. Observing whether others are reinforced or punished for given behaviors may influence the probability that we will produce such behaviors. Observing whether others are reinforced or punished for given behaviors may influence the probability that we will produce such behaviors. Added benefit: We dont have to be punished to learn what-not-to-do. Added benefit: We dont have to be punished to learn what-not-to-do.

21 Cognitive Developmental Theory Piagets theory (1960s) Piagets theory (1960s) Children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world, & their cognitive development takes place in stages. Children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world, & their cognitive development takes place in stages. Argued that children adapt to their surroundings. Argued that children adapt to their surroundings. Children dont come out with blank slate, but with methods for acquiring knowledge. Children dont come out with blank slate, but with methods for acquiring knowledge.

22 Processes of Change According to Piaget 2 complementary cognitive processes play a major role in promoting change and increase childrens cognitive understanding of their world. According to Piaget 2 complementary cognitive processes play a major role in promoting change and increase childrens cognitive understanding of their world. Assimilation is the process by which children absorb new information in with their current framework (schema). Assimilation is the process by which children absorb new information in with their current framework (schema). Accomodation is the process by which children modify existing knowledge structures based on incorporating new information. Accomodation is the process by which children modify existing knowledge structures based on incorporating new information.

23 Piagets Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor (birth to 2 yrs)- infants acquire knowledge by acting on their environment, using their senses and movements to explore the world. Sensorimotor (birth to 2 yrs)- infants acquire knowledge by acting on their environment, using their senses and movements to explore the world. Preoperational (2-7 yrs)- preschool-age children acquire advanced language skills and start to think using symbols. Preoperational (2-7 yrs)- preschool-age children acquire advanced language skills and start to think using symbols. Concrete operational (7-11 yrs)- Childrens reasoning becomes logical. They learn to logically organize concepts. They learn conservation of liquids and solids. Concrete operational (7-11 yrs)- Childrens reasoning becomes logical. They learn to logically organize concepts. They learn conservation of liquids and solids. Formal operational (11+ yrs)-Abstract thinking comes on-line, problem solving ability improves. Formal operational (11+ yrs)-Abstract thinking comes on-line, problem solving ability improves.

24 Cons of Piagets theory 1. Piaget underestimated the competencies of infants and preschoolers. 1. Piaget underestimated the competencies of infants and preschoolers. (E.g., when young children are given tasks scaled down in difficulty, their understanding appears closer to that of older children and the adult) (E.g., when young children are given tasks scaled down in difficulty, their understanding appears closer to that of older children and the adult) 2.Childrens performance on Piagetian tasks can be improved with training. 2.Childrens performance on Piagetian tasks can be improved with training. Suggests there is a problem with the assumption that discovery learning rather than adult teaching is the best way to foster development. Suggests there is a problem with the assumption that discovery learning rather than adult teaching is the best way to foster development.


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